Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

FALSE PRETENSES by Kathy Herman - a delicious suspense

This week

the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

False Pretenses

David C. Cook (March 1, 2011)

by Kathy Herman

My thoughts:

I LOVED this novel!

Been saying that a lot lately but hey, I've been reading some really great suspense!! :) I'm a big fan of Kathy's and I love that she's next door in the state of Texas! She's a sweet woman with an instinct for intrigue, and her books never fail to twist and turn and wow the reader. Kathy writes some of the most relatable, "feel like you're there" suspense stories that I've ever read.

FALSE PRETENSES is the first in a new series, and I loved how one of the characters picked up from her last series set in Sophie Trace. When I realized the Vanessa is this series was the same from the series before, I emailed Kathy on facebook all giddy like a little girl. :) I love when characters overlap!

The setting in this novel also brings a fresh element to the world of suspense. This charming fictional town is like a mini New Orleans, with all the same Cajun flavor and history. As a Southern girl, I'm all in! :)

You don't want to miss this exciting series, starting with book one. Get your copy today! (see links below for ordering)


Suspense novelist Kathy Herman is very much at home in the Christian book industry, having worked five years on staff at the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and eleven years at Better Books Christian Center in Tyler, Texas, as product buyer/manager for the children’s department, and eventually as director of human resources. She has conducted numerous educational seminars on children’s books at CBA Conventions in the U.S. and Canada, served a preliminary judge for the Gold Medallion Book Awards of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association , and worked as an independent product/marketing consultant to the CBA market. Since her first novel, Tested by Fire, debuted in 2001 as a CBA national bestseller, she's added sixteen more titles to her credit, including four bestsellers: All Things Hidden, The Real Enemy, The Last Word, and The Right Call. Kathy's husband Paul is her manager and most ardent supporter, and the former manager of the LifeWay Christian Store in Tyler, Texas. They have three grown children, five almost-perfect grandchildren, a cat named Samantha. They enjoy cruising, deep sea fishing, and birdwatching—sometimes incorporating these hobbies into one big adventure.


Zoe Broussard loves the life she and her husband Pierce have built in her beloved Louisiana hometown. She owns a thriving Cajun eatery in South Louisiana and is married to the love of her life. But it’s about to become hell. One day, out of the blue, she receives a series of anonymous notes that sends her life into a tail spin. Five simple words, “I know what you did.” Zoe has a secret so terrible it could leave the business in shambles and tear her marriage apart. Unbeknownst to anyone, even Zoe’s husband, Pierce, she has a past—a past she had covered so well she never thought she would have to confront. How could anyone know what she did? Can she find the courage to face her past?

If you would like to read the first chapter of False Pretenses, go HERE. Buy your copy HERE!

PS - you might want to have a cup of gumbo handy when you read this, because your stomach will be growling from all the cajun yumminess! Beignets anyone? :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Let the festivities begin!

I hereby pronounce this week officially:

Betsy's Birthday Week.

Let the "aye's" have it ;)

So I have to work two days this week and I have a newspaper article due soon and two book deadlines before mid-July and a house to clean and a toddler to chase and 3 more lbs to lose and a conference to prepare for but by George, there WILL be cupcakes.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Celebrations & The Irony of Cadbury Eggs

That is probably my strangest blog entry title to date.

But it's true! Lots to celebrate, and Cadbury Eggs are at the center of all my good news.

First of all, because, well, a Cadbury is good news by itself, plain and simple. =)

Secondly, I got a new book contract! Received word from my Super Agent yesterday that my Super Editor at Love Inspired gave the official go-ahead for my next contemporary romance. (title and details to come, but I can say it will release Spring 2012 and is about a female photographer and a single dad/school principal)


I had to celebrate with a Cadbury, of course. Hubby and I did a huge Walmart run last night to stock up on groceries (our pantry was flat out embarassing and it was simply because I was avoiding the hassle of going!) Wen I saw those miniature chocolate treats on the shelf, well, it didn't take long to convince myself that I deserved them.

This is when the irony falls into play.

For the past month+, I've been dieting. I mean, hard core counting calories, to the point of driving my husband insane and whipping out a calculator everywhere I go. But it worked. I lost 3 lbs immediately, then the scale got stuck in the same place (to the OUNCE!) for 3 weeks straight+. I was going nuts. I wasn't asking for another 3 lbs. I would have settled for losing 2 ounces. Seriously, I was obsessed. It became A Thing. (besides the fact that motivation to continue eating less was really getting harder without seeing more results!!)

So I kept counting calories, kept trying, kept sacrificing, and...same number. To the ounce. I finally did some research and figured maybe my body was thinking it was in starvation mode. Not that I was starving myself but I was eating the lowest recommended calories for women daily (1200) and not exercising (didn't want to gain muscle and have the numbers go up - my plan is to start toning up once my number gets close to where I want it)

After reading about starvation mode, I figured I'd up my daily calories by 150/200 and add a bit of exercise. So for three days I did more physical activity (though not exactly exercise-exercise) and climbed 7 flights of stairs two days in a row at work for cardio. Small effort, figured it wouldn't help. Yep. Three days of this - no change.

So I said "forget it."

Last night, I shared a Subway personal pizza with my toddler, ate a Cadbury egg at 10:00 p.m. while indulging in the latest recorded episode of American Idol, and this morning...I lost an entire lb. Not just ounces. A pound and an ounce.

Thank you, Cadbury...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Allison bats another homerun ;)

I LOVED this book!

I'm partial to Allison Pittman, because this special lady is who got me hooked on historicals years ago with her Crossroads of Grace series. Christian fiction prostitutes? You gotta read it to believe it! :)

I've always loved her stories and writing but Allison continues to grow and explore with each new novel. LILLIES IN MOONLIGHT is no exception, and wraps up the third in Allison's "baseball" books. (the stories are stand alone, not a connected series except for the random appearances of a fun side character)

Now, you might care nothing about baseball and I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of the sport. Its fun and all but I don't follow it. That said, I guarantee you that reading about baseball in a historical time period is - pun intended - "a whole 'nother ball game" ;)

LILLIES IN MOONLIGHT didn't focus on the ballgame thread as much as the threads of love, redemption, forgiveness, second chances, and finding the definiton of home. You'll fall in love with Cullen and Lilly just as the ex-baseball player/scarred war hero and Scarlet Lettered Flapper fall in love with each other!

Here's the back cover:

He’d lost his zest for life. She was just lost. Will they find the healing and love they long for?

After a roaring night on the town, fun-loving flapper Lilly Margolis, dazed and disoriented, twists her ankle and falls into the backyard of a wealthy family where the effects of the Great War—over for more than half a decade—are still endured. Inside the walls of the Burnside mansion, Cullen Burnside, a disillusioned and disfigured veteran, and his widowed mother, Betty Ruth, who daily slips a little further into dementia, lead a lonely existence … until Lilly.

Whimsical, lighthearted, and beautiful, she rejuvenates their sad, disconnected lives and blossoms in the light of their attention. But Lilly, like Cullen, is hiding from a painful past. And when Cullen insists on returning her to her faraway home, their budding attraction seems destined to die on the vine. The resulting road trip becomes a journey of self-discovery—but what will Cullen and Lilly find at journey’s end?

Sounds good doesn't it??

Don't miss your copy of this fantastic read releasing April 5th! Or better yet, hop on over to Amazon and pre-order!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Happy (almost) birthday to me!

So my birthday is one week and one day from right now! :)

For all of you who think I'm 12 because I look so young, rest assured - I'll be 27. Haha. Not like it's a big milestone or anything but boy does it seem closer to 30! =P

Birthdays can be scary for those who dread getting older, but for me, it's a time to evaluate (and eat guilt-free cupcakes. hehe) Make a plan for the next year. Set goals. Check things off my list. Realize how much I've done and how much God has blessed me...and that's a lot!

What do you remember about turning 27? Where were you in life at that point? Or if you're younger than me, what do you hope to have accomplished by the time you are 27?

I think on my birthday we're going to celebrate by taking Little Miss out somewhere fun. I used to be all about the big parties with a bunch of family and friends and presents, but now its just as much fun to do something my Little Miss enjoys. (the zoo, the park, etc.) Throw in a few cupcakes and maybe a new pair of shoes, and I'm golden.

(and okay, maybe make Hubby clean the toilets...wink...)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring is in the air...

Here's what we've been up to lately! What about you? :)

Friday, March 18, 2011


Sorry I didn't post today!

Not that there are many of you out there drooling over my next blog topic or anything, but still. I feel obligation. :)

Its been a hectic week and most of my posts were scheduled in advance this time, and today fell short. But the good news is, Little Miss and I had a good day and did several Easter art projects together. Pics to come next week! :) It was really fun.

Of course she's a grumpy pot tonight because of a super-short nap and having to run out the door again earlier but hey, bedtime will be here soon (see how I'm late I'm posting this!!!) and then it's what I like to call AAM time... All About Mommy.

Oh yeah.

King of Queens marathon, here I come.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Code of Justice by Liz Johnson

Code of Justice, third novel by author Liz Johnson, is full of romance, suspense, and incredibly relatable characters. This story keeps one hanging on 'til the end, eager to see how the final play wraps up. This one is suspenseful but not "scary", intriguing and page-turning, and better yet, filled with plenty of delicious romantic chemistry between the hero and heroine! ;)

If you've ever been torn between recognizing the difference in revenge and justice, and how God plays a part in both, then don't miss this intense story of murder, resentment, regret, guilt, forgiveness, and redemption.

And for heaven's sake, someone give the hero and heroine a bandaid already. lol (you'll get that after you read it - see! Go read it!) ;)

Another winner, Liz!!!

Here's the back cover:

"Follow the drugs."

Her sister's last words shake FBI agent Heather Sloan to the core. They also convince her that the helicopter crash only Heather survived wasn't an accident. Sheriff's deputy Jeremy Latham is assigned the case—he's the one who can help Heather find the person responsible…once she convinces him they should work together. As they dig for the truth, they learn to trust and care for each other. Will they lose it all when the killer targets Heather? She's willing to risk her life to find her sister's killer—but her code of justice could cost her the chance to win Jeremy's love.

Sounds great, huh? :)

After graduating from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff with a degree in public relations, Liz Johnson set out to work in the Christian publishing industry, which was her lifelong dream. In 2006 she got her wish when she accepted a publicity position at a major trade book publisher. While working as a publicist in the industry, she decided to pursue her other dream-being an author. Along the way to having her novel published, she wrote articles for several magazines and worked as a freelance editorial consultant.

Liz makes her home in Nashville, TN, where she enjoys exploring her new home, theater, and making frequent trips to Arizona to dote on her nephew and three nieces. She loves stories of true love with happy endings.

You can learn more about Liz at her website HERE and order your copy of Code of Justice HERE!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

When the well runs dry?

Visit me today at SCRIBBLE CHICKS and let's talk about what to do when you just don't have any story ideas!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A winner by Robin Carroll

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
In The Shadow of Evil
B&H Books (March 1, 2011)
Robin Carroll

Robin was one of the first people I met when joining the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers - sooo many years ago and at the time, she was a newbie herself, learning and growing in her craft, being mentored by some of the best suspense writers out there. Now, she's come into her own and is one of those best suspense writers! :)

It's been fun getting to know her along the journey and cheering her on. We Southern gals have to stick together!

I truly enjoyed this novel, it was suspenseful and intriguing but not "scary" and for scaredy cats like myself, that's exactly what I want in a suspense. (after all, suspense is not thriller) ::grin:: I highly recommend this novel and others by Robin for anyone looking for a sturdy read, relatable characters, heart-pounding suspense, and exciting twists and turns. Robin does a little bit of it all! "In the Shadow of Evil" is no exception. Get your copy today HERE! (and then spread the word!)

Read below for more info. (hey that rhymes...)


Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage—two aspects Robin weaves into each of her books. When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty years, her three beautiful daughters, one precious grandson, and their four character-filled pets at home—in the South, where else? Robin gives back to the writing community by serving as Conference Director for ACFW. Her books have finaled/placed in such contests as RT Reviewer's Choice, Bookseller's Best, and Book of the Year. An avid reader herself, Robin loves hearing from and chatting with other readers. Although her favorite genre to read is mystery/suspense, of course, she’ll read just about any good story. Except historicals!


Informed by the real-life fallout of the U.S. economy plus devastation caused by multiple hurricanes along the southern coast, In the Shadow of Evil casts the modern day story of a building rebound scam exposed. It begins when the body of a property inspector is found among the ashes of a burnt out Homes of Hope house. Wrapped up in this mounting case of unethical practices, supply shortages, and murder, top Louisiana homicide detective Maddox Bishop is losing his heart to a charitable contractor, Layla Taylor, whose own sister is under suspicion. He’s also about to discover a deep secret about his tragic past.

If you would like to read the first chapter of In The Shadow of Evil, go HERE.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Stalked by a tote bag...

So the conference last weekend was a blast!

I made new friends, hung out with old friends, learned new things, refreshed old things, taught my workshop, had a great turnout, sold several books at the on-site Barnes & Noble store, had a good turnout for the multi-author booksigning, ate some yummy food, slept in a hotel by myself for the first time ever (don't laugh!), got to meet and visit with another editor from Harlequin (my publisher, Love Inspired's, banner) and had a lot of fun!

And of course, took some pics! (shocker, I know, right? haha)

This is me at my hotel - a little excited!

My new friend Teresa I encouraged to come to the conference - she did, and loved it! Yay!

I got my own nameplate on the lunch table as a speaker :)

Speaking on Time Management for the Busy Writer!

Me and Jamie! We always see each other at this conference every year!

Me with author Judy Christie of Abingdon

My conference re-cap would not be complete if I didn't tell you the story of the tote bag that stalked me. Yes, I was stalked by a tote bag. Here's the thing. Barnes & Noble has the cutest book bag I've wanted for two years. I saw it in the store a long time ago, but didn't buy it because it was $19.99. I thought 20 bucks for a tote bag was a little ridiculous even if it was pink and had a picture of a cartoon girl walking and reading a book, leaves swirling around her feet...I ignored it. Or tried.

Last year, it was at the conference book store as well, and I persevered and ignored it again. This year, the CRM of Barnes & Noble, Elizabeth (who had no idea about my obsession with this bag) ended up somehow hanging it as a decoration DIRECTLY UNDER my pile of books on the store tables. I railed on her about it and she swore she didn't know. I still refused to pay $20 for a tote bag but I was weakening. Oh, I was weakening.

The afternoon of the booksigning, I walked to my spot at the tables (that had been rearranged) and sure enough, the tote bag was once again in my spot, under my nametag. Oy.

What's a girl to do? I grabbed the bag and my debit card, stalked over to Elizabeth, shoved both at her without saying a single word, and ignored her little satisfied smirk as she handed me my receipt...

This is Elizabeth... she looks so innocent! ha :)

I really love my bag :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Writer, away!

So I'm gearing up and heading off to a local writer's conference today!

This is a two day conference for a variety of writers, though mostly romance. I'll be teaching a worskhop on Time Management and I can't wait! I have a freebie book giveaway and a bunch of fun "parting gifts" to bestow after my workshop. :)

I'm also looking forward to the classes I'll be attending and the big multi-author booksigning Saturday afternoon.

Please pray the weekend goes well. This isn't a Christian-based conference like the ACFW is, so I'm always extra hopeful at these that God will use me to reach someone for Him or be an encouragement to someone in need.

I'll also be pitching to editors there, so prayers for that would also be appreciated. Here we go!

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

PS - is it bad I packed 4 pairs of shoes for what is essentially a 24 hour conference?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Unique Read...

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Heart Most Worthy
Bethany House (March 1, 2011)
Siri Mitchell
REVIEW: This was a very unique read. I'm a fan of Siri's and this book was really great as always. It took awhile to adjust to the rarely-used omniscient point of view style, but it seemed to work well after I got used to it :) I really enjoyed getting to these larger-than-life characters and journey with these 3 women, relating a little to each of them. A very enjoyable novel by Siri! I recommend ;)


Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including in Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a sermon and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.

Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.

Her ninth novel, A Heart Most Worthy, follows prior Bethany House releases: A Constant Heart (October 2008), Love's Pursuit (June 2009), and She Walks in Beauty (Apr 2010). She Walks in Beauty won the inaugural INSPY Award for Historical Fiction in Dec 2010. Two of her novels, Chateau of Echoes and The Cubicle Next Door were Christy Award finalists. Love's Pursuit was a finalist for the ACFW Carol Award.

Publishers Weekly proclaimed, "Mitchell delivers the historical goods."


The elegance of Madame Forza's gown shop is a far cry from the downtrodden North End of Boston. Yet each day Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana enter the world of the upper class, working on finery for the elite in society. The three beauties each long to break free of their obligations and embrace the American dream--and their chance for love. But the ways of the heart are difficult to discern at times.

Julietta is drawn to the swarthy, mysterious Angelo. Annamaria has a star-crossed encounter with the grocer's son, a man from the entirely wrong family. And through no intent of her own, Luciana catches the eye of Billy Quinn, the son of Madame Forza's most important client.

Their destinies intertwined, each harboring a secret from their families and each other, will they be found worthy of the love they seek?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Heart Most Worthy, go HERE.
Purchase via Amazon HERE!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Two down, 6 to go

So my dad (technie galore) came out and fixed up my printer yesterday. Yay! Still feel rather ridiculous that I couldn't figure it out myself, but I guess this is a better solution than holes in walls and baseball bats =)

Good news today - I'm down two full lbs in the last 10 days of counting calories! Very encouraging. I'm trying to lose 5-6 more lbs by mid June (beach trip!) Hopefully sooner.

I thought cutting so far back on calories would be hard but after the first several days, my stomach shrunk and my appetite adjusted and now I truly don't WANT more than I eat. Beautiful thing.

I still battle stress-eating when I get frustrated/overwhelmed, and the always-present night-time munchies but that's about it. Definite progress!

Losing weight wasn't a new years resolution for me but I know it was for many of you. How's it going? Need encouragement, or need to share some happy success news? Vent here! :)

Monday, March 07, 2011

Woes of technology

Anyone ever seen the movie "Office Space" from 1999? (I'm not recommending it, it's pretty hilarious but definitely has some bad moments.)

I'm just personally relating today to when they were all fired and they went outside with a baseball bat to beat the copy machine that had tormented them for years.

Cue music. Cue lights. Enter my printer, stage left. Enter Betsy with a Louisville Slugger, stage right.

It's a long story, and I don't even know if I want to go into it, but the bottom line is, I spent $57 on black and color ink cartridges, my conference information is yet to be printed that I need for this weekend, and there is about to be a printer-sized hole in my wall. (won't that be a surprise when Hubby gets home?)

The good news is, I'm so frustrated and in need of control so... I just cleaned my house.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck

Another novel by the witty and talented Kristin Billerbeck...

About the story:

Katie McKenna had resolved to live a quiet life, marry a practical Christian man, and leave all her “worldly” desires behind. Since moving to California, she’d made it her goal to live life logically and for the Lord. She has the perfect life—a fulfilling job, a cute apartment, and a wedding to plan with her soon-to-be fiancĂ©, Dexter.

But then in walks Luc DeForges, the handsome ex-boyfriend who’d broken her heart. After graduating college and rejecting Katie, Luc cornered the organic food market and became one of the most eligible multi-millionaire bachelors. But now he’s back and asking her to go home to New Orleans to sing at his brother’s wedding. She hasn’t fallen victim to her emotions since leaving New Orleans, and she’s invested too much to give into them now.

When Luc was in his element, there was nothing like it. His excitement was contagious and spread like a classroom virus, infecting those around him with a false sense of security. Katie inhales deeply and reminds herself that the man sold inspiration by the pound. His power over her was universal. It did not make her special.

Katie’s boyfriend, Dexter, is a practical man. As Katie’s roommate Eileen offers, “Katie, no matter how many entries you put in that book, Dexter is not going to be a romantic. I mean, fine, you’re going to marry him. He’s a good man. I just don’t want you to be disappointed. No matter how many junior high school hearts you draw next to his name, Dexter is going to order you what the Internet says is the proper gift for each anniversary. He’ll probably have a program created that does it for him.” But Dexter is safe. He’ll be a good dad. He’s very intellectual. He’s punctual. He’s everything she needs in a husband.

And Dexter will propose as soon as she gets her grandmother’s ring from her mom. And Luc will provide her with a free trip home for just that purpose. Plus, she needs to go home to New Orleans. It’s her last chance to find out why Luc tossed her from his life like a banana peel off the back of her father’s pickup. Love is a decision. A choice. All the leading experts said so, and she’d decided she would love Dexter in a way that honored and respected him. The way she’d loved Luc left her worn out and depleted, like an empty air mattress. Then what use was she? She’d get her ring and closure as well. Then nothing would stand in the way of her life with Dexter.

But what if God has more in store for her? What if God’s desire for her is a heart full of life? Can the passions she had as a young woman, which led to many of her past mistakes, still have a place in her life?

About Kristin:

Kristin Billerbeck is a successful novelist from northern California. She has authored more than 30 novels, including the Ashley Stockingdale series and the Spa Girls series. She is a leader in the Chick Lit movement, a Christy Award finalist, and a two-time winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year Award. She has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times.


This is a nice story by Kristin, with satisfying romantic tension and chemistry. It's also set in one of my personal favorite cities - New Orleans :) While it didn't hold my attention as tightly as some of Kristin's other books, and had some slow parts, it was still a good read and one I'd recommend. I loved the shout-out to the 1940's that she incorporated throughout. I really hope there's a sequel one day about the best friend in this story. She was a hoot and definitely deserves her own book. ;)

Read more about Kristin and her stories at

Friday, March 04, 2011

Friday fun

Happy Friday!

How are you spending the first day of your weekend? I'm celebrating the fact that I reached the halfway point (and passed it by 200 words! ha) on my young adult novel (releasing January 2012 from Barbour Books) yesterday! Yay! So Little Miss and my mom and I are going to do some spring shopping and get lunch together and just have a relaxing day. Then it's back home to write Chapter 21 during a certain toddler's nap ;)

(I would SOOOO celebrate with chocolate but I'm down a lb on the scale since Sunday because of calorie counting and jogging so...not going to mess that one up even for a good cause ::wink::)

Hope your weekend is shaping up nicely!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

A Bond Never Broken

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Bond Never Broken
Bethany House (March 1, 2011)
Judith Miller
I really enjoyed this novel! I became a fan of Judith's after reading the Carousel Painter, and this story lived up to my expectations. Well written and intriguing, this book has a little bit of it all - mystery, romance, suspense, family, war...don't miss it!


A Word from Judith:

Most readers want to know how authors 'got started' writing. My first novel, Threads of Love, was conceived when I was commuting sixty miles to work each day. I wanted to tell the story of a pioneer girl coming to Kansas and the faith that sustained her as she adjusted to a new life. When the book was completed, I tucked it away. I had absolutely no idea how publication of a book occurred and had given no thought to the concept. However, through a co-worker, I was directed to Tracie Peterson who, at that time, worked down the hall from me. Having never met Tracie, I was totally unaware of her writing career, but God intervened. The rest is, as they say, history...

With a graciousness that continues to amaze me, Tracie agreed to read my story, directed me to a publisher, and gave me information on a Christian writers conference. Since that first encounter many years ago, I have been blessed with the publication of numerous books, novellas and a juvenile fiction book. Joyously, Tracie and I had the opportunity to develop a blessed friendship. In fact, we have co-authored several series together, including The Bells of Lowell, the Lights of Lowell and The Broadmoor Legacy. In addition, I have continued to write several solo series.


For many years, Ilsa Redlich has helped her parents run a hotel in South Amana, but as the United States enters the Great War, she can feel her world changing. The residents of the towns surrounding the Amana Colonies used to be accepting of their quiet, peaceful neighbors, but with anti-German sentiment running high, the Amana villages are now plagued by vandalism, threats, and insults.

Things get even worse when Ilsa finds out her family won't be allowed to speak German in public--and that Garon, the childhood friend she's long been smitten with, has decided to join the army. Jutta Schmidt is shocked when several members of the Council of National Defense show up on her family's doorstep. Sure, the Schmidts once lived in the Amana Colonies, but that was years ago. She's even more surprised when the council demands that she travel to Amana and report back on any un-American activities.

Not daring to disobey the government agents, Jutta takes a job at the South Amana hotel, befriends the daughter of the owners, and begins to eavesdrop every chance she gets. When Jutta hears Ilsa making antiwar remarks and observes Garon assisting a suspicious outsider, she is torn at the prospect of betraying her new friends.

But what choice does she have? And when Garon is accused of something far worse than Jutta could imagine, can the Amana community come to his aid in time?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Bond Never Broken, go HERE

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

In like a lion?

So March has arrived (didn't we just have Christmas???) and so far around here, it hasn't come in very lion-ly. We had some heavy rain Sunday night but temps have been in the 60-upper 70's for the past two weeks for the most part. How's it looking in your part of the world?

I love all the weather "sayings". March comes in like a lion, goes out like a lamb. April showers bring May Flowers. What are some others I'm missing??? :) But I have to admit, I've never been convinced of the whole groundhog thing....

I'm just personally looking forward to spring. Bright flowers, new life, green grass. Sleeveless dresses, open-toed shoes, happy pastels, warm sunshine. Getting to play outside with my Little Miss regularly again. I love it! And of course Easter will be here before we know it, with yummy candy, fuzzy bunnies, and the celebration of our Saviour's resurrection! It's going to be a good season!

What do you have going on this Spring? March 11-12 I'll be teaching a workshop at a local RWA conference. Check it out:

I would love to see you there! :)

Happy March!